(Abuja, September 21, 2016:) Regional journalists including two from Liberia have concluded a two-day sensitization workshop on the European Union/West African Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) that held in Abuja.
Journalists Horatio Bobby Willie and Christiana Winnie Saywah Jimmy of OK FM and The Inquirer Newspaper respectively joined their colleagues from both the print and electronic media from all ECOWAS member states and Mauritania for the two days’ training that convened from Tuesday, September 20th to Wednesday, September 2016.
According to a dispatch from the Liberian Embassy in Abuja, the training was held at the ECOWAS Commission.
The training was conducted in collaboration with West Africa Economic and Monetary Union of West Africa (WAEMU) which aimed to improve the awareness and capacity of regional journalists by enabling them disseminates factual information about the EPA to Community citizens.
It forms part of ECOWAS’ efforts to attain economic integration within the region. The media personnel were also intimated with the development component of the agreement, the Economic Partnership Agreement Development Programme (EPADP) as well as the market access opportunities within the context of the EPA which is based on the ECOWAS common External Tariff (CET).
Presently all 28 members of the EU have signed the agreement while 13 West African countries have signed, with the exception of Nigeria, The Gambia and Mauritania, the dispatch adds.
Negotiations for the EPA were concluded in 2014 with the aim of improving inter and intra-regional trade among ECOWAS member states and the European Union.
During the training, media participants were also introduced to Regional Trade Agreements and their relation with multilateral trading systems.
At the end of the training, Liberia’s OK FM representative and media consultant, Mr. Willie said he hopes to use his radio program in helping to better disseminate information about the EPA.
“ I also want to ask the Ministries of Information, Commerce, Finance and Public Works to sponsor workshops that will do knowledge-sharing about this”, he remarked.
“It was a good experience for me as it gives me a better knowledge on the trace and development vision of ECOWAS through this bilateral arrangement with the EU. I hope stakeholders in the various sectors in government and the private sector will make themselves available including the EU Monrovia Office to inform the public on the implementation of the designated projects under the agreement”, he continued.